Why Pep Boys' Shares Got Crushed


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of auto-parts expert Pep Boys (NYS: PBY) were crashing today, falling as much as 25% in intraday trading after the proposed privatization of the company fell apart.

So what: The news today shouldn't be a complete surprise to investors. After Pep Boys announced back in May that first-quarter results weren't going to look all that great, Gores Group started pushing back against the company, making it sound like it wanted to renegotiate the deal or even kill it. The former approach hit a brick wall as Pep Boys was unwilling to renegotiate, so today we got confirmation from the company that the deal has completely fallen apart.

The small silver lining for the time being is that Pep Boys is getting a $50 million break-up fee from Gores, as well as reimbursement for all of the company's merger-related expenses.

Now what: It's back to square one for Pep Boys investors. That is, it's time to move past the buyout and try to figure out what the business is worth and whether it's worth owning for the long haul.

On the downside, it appears that business hasn't been particularly good lately and investors have to be concerned about the fact that Gores was so desperate to wriggle out of this deal that it coughed up tens of millions of dollars to do it. On the other hand, shares have been absolutely decimated in recent months -- the stock is down around 40% from the $15 proposed buyout price. For investors that like the business, that could provide an opportunity to be a buyer while everyone else is desperately selling.

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